Sens GM unlikely to trade Spezza

 

 
 
 
 
During his end-of-season exit interview, Ottawa Senators centre Jason Spezza expressed unhappiness at being a favourite target of fans' anger.
 

During his end-of-season exit interview, Ottawa Senators centre Jason Spezza expressed unhappiness at being a favourite target of fans' anger.

Photograph by: File, Ottawa Citizen

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LOS ANGELES — Like him or hate him, Ottawa Senators fans should be prepared to welcome Jason Spezza back next season.

General manager Bryan Murray has tossed out his name in trade talks in recent weeks, but the response around the National Hockey League has been lukewarm to say the least.

While Murray might make a deal or two involving draft picks Friday and Saturday at the NHL draft, a blockbuster involving his star centre is unlikely.

“There’s nothing going on with Jason,” Murray said Thursday. “There has been very little in the way of any conversations with other teams, at any rate. And this got bigger than it should have. (A trade) is a non-existent thing at this point. I’m not trying to trade him. I thought maybe a team or two would call and inquire. I’ve had a couple of teams call me and that’s it.”

After the Montreal Canadiens re-signed centre Tomas Plekanec and the San Jose Sharks secured centre Patrick Marleau to new deals this week, the market for star unrestricted free agent centres has dwindled considerably, but it apparently hasn’t sparked any more interest in Spezza, who’s about to enter the third year of a seven-year, $49-million US contract extension he signed in late 2007.

As Murray poured cold water on all the speculation earlier in the week, the two also spoke about the parts they played in blowing an end-of-season conversation out of proportion.

Spezza wasn’t happy with being booed by fans and said that if Murray found a trading partner, he wouldn’t balk at moving. Murray then opened the door to explore options this week, creating a buzz that something could be imminent.

They’ve now cleared the air, according to the general manager.

“I think we both feel a little concerned about all the commentary that has gone on about a couple of comments that were made, on both of our parts — the insinuation that maybe there was a need to do something — and I think we talked it out pretty well.”

Ultimately, Spezza is going to have to accept the criticism comes with his price tag.

“Jason is a good player,” Murray said. “The people appreciate that. He’s also one of those players that every night we expect an awful lot from. There are nights when your team doesn’t win, and the good players get the finger pointed at them more often than the other players. Jason is one of the good players. It was Daniel Alfredsson a few years ago and now it’s Jason.”

Ottawa Citizen

 
 
 
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During his end-of-season exit interview, Ottawa Senators centre Jason Spezza expressed unhappiness at being a favourite target of fans' anger.
 

During his end-of-season exit interview, Ottawa Senators centre Jason Spezza expressed unhappiness at being a favourite target of fans' anger.

Photograph by: File, Ottawa Citizen

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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